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spicingupwinterBy Yinan Jia

As we head in to winter, have you been wondering if there are healthier ways to enjoy some of the season’s favorites?  If you’re watching your salt intake, you might be surprised by the amount of sodium you are actually eating. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults and children over 14 years of age consume less than 2300 mg each day of sodium (about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt).  Beware of ingredients with added salt such as canned and processed foods, soy sauce, cheese, breadcrumbs, bottled dressings, and pre-made spice blends. When it comes to cooking, creating your own spice combinations can add extra flavor and aroma to your recipes, as well as help you to stick to these guidelines!  Check out this spicy winter squash recipe, along with a few tips on how to reduce salt in your favorite recipes.

Recipe adapted from EatingWell Test Kitchen

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249971/oven-roasted-squash-with-garlic-parsley/

Picture from EatingWell Test Kitchen

http://images.media-allrecipes.com/userphotos/960×960/3757268.jpg

 

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

10 servings (¾ cup each)

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, ground pepper and cayenne powder.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread squash chunks evenly on the baking sheet.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven, stirring the squash occasionally. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to cook squash throughout.
  5. In a small pan, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and stir until lightly brown.
  7. Toss the roasted squash with the garlic and parsley.
  8. Taste, adjust the seasoning and enjoy!

Tips:

  1. Too much salt can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. You can cut down on the amount of salt in a recipe by adding more of your favorite unsalted spices or spice mixes. Cayenne powder is one of my favorites, and adds an appealing red color and a savory taste. In this recipe, it also helps bring out the sweetness of winter squash!
  2. Don’t have fresh herbs at home? Use dried ones! Dried herbs are more concentrated, so you can use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. Plus, dried herbs are cheaper and will last longer.

Yinan Jia is a dietetic intern from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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